Tag Archives: Barbados work ethic

An Open Letter to Barbados on Forty Five Years of Independence: We Are the Change

“The politicians cannot save us. Our allies overseas in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and China cannot save us…”

by Ronnie R. F. Yearwood

I was born in the small village of Boscobel in St. Peter. My family was poor, as were many around us. However, we did not let this reflect our state of mind. As was for many Barbadians, this provided the determination to create a brighter future. Better days were always ahead.

I saw a boy living in poverty. He stood proudly on the steps of his old house. The house was always about to fall apart and leaked when it rained. There was no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. The boy went to school only because of free education, as did many other boys and girls around him. Without that free education these boys and girls would not have been able to learn, for their parents could not afford food, little more than they could books.

His father like those of others around him was absent either by will or culture. So his mother fathered him, as was the way. His mother worked hard to do all she could to help the boy into a better Barbados. I was this boy, and as much as this story is mine, it is also the story of many Barbadians. Together our stories reveal the history of a country that was built on hard work and determination to succeed, especially in the face of slavery and colonialism. A determination, as National Hero The Right Excellent Errol Barrow once said, that took a collection of small villages and transformed them into a proud nation.

Today, we see men and women who are forced to choose between paying the rent or mortgage, and feeding their families. The economic situation is not improving. It will not improve left on its own. We see boys and girls who go to school but cannot read or write yet we boast 100% literacy. We see young people unemployed with few opportunities to become active and progressive citizens. We see a decline in public standards and service, yet we talk of having one of the best tourism products in the world. We see an inefficient Government, yet we claim that public sector reforms are working. We see crime, and anti-social behaviour in schools, on our streets and on public transport. We see a country that is distrustful, apathetic, and struggling to understand itself and falters in crafting a meaningful response not only to current economic crisis, but also failing in setting out a vision for a prosperous Barbados of tomorrow. There is a future beyond the current economic crisis and political staleness that plagues this country. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

Six weeks later: Still no Spanish, Portuguese language welcome on Barbados Tourism or Investment & Development websites.

Stephen-Lashley

MP Stephen Lashley wants to make BTA overcome 'island time' performance.

Last week the government member for Christ Church West Central, Stephen Lashley, stood up in Parliament and talked about the need for Barbados to tap into new international markets for tourism and industry. As tactfully as possible (considering he is a member of the government), Mr. Lashley made the point that our Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Investment and Development Corporation aren’t doing nearly the job that they should be doing.

To be fair, Lashley talked about “encouraging” the BTA and BIDC and being positive about their efforts. He also chided the Opposition for being “negative” as he delivered the traditional Bajan milquetoast speech about “what we’re gonna do” etc etc etc. His central message for those listening at the BTA and BIDC came through though: “FOR GOD’S SAKE JUST BLOODY-WELL DO SOMETHING!”

Good luck with your encouragement, Mr. Lashley. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for results.

Let’s get real for a minute, shall we?

Over six weeks ago, Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson gave a press conference where he mused about the possibilities of targeting South American markets to fill the tourism void during the “off” season – and to try to raise some new business opportunities.

At that time Barbados Free Press said that IF the government and the Minister were serious about South America, they would already have ordered Spanish and Portuguese language options on the websites of the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation. We said it would take a week, maybe two, to translate both websites, put up a welcome in Spanish and Portuguese and at least look like we mean business.

We also predicted that it wouldn’t happen. We said…

“Oh well, not to get upset about it because the truth is that nothing will be done.

The Minister spoke a fine little speech, and the newspaper printed a fine little article and editorial.

That’s it, folks. That’s all you’ll see. This is Barbados and we do – or don’t do – things a certain way.”

We were correct. Here we are six weeks later and nothing was done. The BTA and BIDC websites are still in English only.

See? We told ya that nothing would be done!

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge: Hotel owners have been asking for Spanish/Portuguese BTA website for 10 years!

After all, the Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners.

Why should anything change now?

Please have a read of our original story and we’ll see you again in another six weeks and every six weeks thereafter until all those concerned become embarrassed enough to make it happen – if such a thing is possible in the cushy government service. I tell you the truth friends – very few in the BTA or BIDC would last a week in a similar position in London or New York.

Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism